As I said in my last post, my family had lived in Cape Girardeau from 1994-2000. Kurt attended the Kansas City University if Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, Missouri for medical school. For his last two years of school (2004-2005, I believe?), they had the option to move elsewhere and do rounds in a local hospital setting. Kurt chose CG because it would put him closer to home (3.5 hours versus 9). He was in the operating room and told two of the anesthesiologists that he had "matched" to do residency in Jackson (here in Mississippi). They said, "Oh! If you're going to Jackson, you need to go to Colonial Heights Baptist Church. Our former pastor is now there and has a college-age daughter you should look up." (That would be me.)
So, in July of 2006, I had just gotten back from a semester in London. My parents were out of town, so my grandfather was preaching for my dad that day/night. He asked me to play the piano (and sing at the same time). And it wasn't just any song; it was "Moses" by Ken Medema. (Ken is a brilliant pianist/songwriter who can write a song in minutes). The only video I could find isn't him singing, and it has full orchestration behind it, but it gives you the idea, if you're curious. Oh, and I definitely wasn't this dramatic when I sang it.
So, Kurt happened to be there in church that night and saw my grandfather introduce me. He told me that when he saw me play, he thought "That could end up being my wife." It took us a little bit to get to that point (ha!), but it was true. :) After the service, I remember seeing a guy in a green shirt that I hadn't seen before and thinking he was cute.
The next week, Kurt came back to Sunday night church, and I was leading worship on praise team. I went to see my dad in the foyer after the service, and Kurt approached me and said "Are you Ashley Anderson? I just moved here from Cape Girardeau." That was it! I knew there had to be a catch. He was cute, in church, and seemed normal. He was being sketchy about what he was doing at University of Mississippi Medical Center, though. For all I knew, he could've been a janitor at UMC (and there's nothing wrong with that!). Finally, I dragged it out of him that he was a physician in residency. Then I knew he had to be a serial killer. A Christian, cute doctor? In church? Had to be a serial killer.
Well, he wasn't. While I was on my family trip to Texas, he called me and we talked for 45 minutes. It ended in him asking me to dinner! We went to Alexander's, an Italian restaurant, then I took him to see a beautiful historical chapel, Chapel of the Cross. We ended the night by going to the Reservoir (a lake) and sitting and talking more. That was July 2006.
How did Kurt propose you?
We officially became an exclusive couple in October 2006, and by December we knew we wanted to get married. We were on a time crunch due to his schedule. We either had to wait until the following December (I had always wanted a Christmas wedding), or go ahead and get married in June. At that point, I just wanted to marry him, so June it was! Even though I didn't have my ring yet, Kurt and I knew I had to start planning the wedding right away, which I did. It was nuts. We changed the wedding date in the middle of me trying on veils!
In January, Kurt's parents came into town to meet my parents. I didn't know Mrs. Pam brought the ring! We ate at Alexander's (again!) and after dinner Kurt suggested that just he and I drive together. He said "What did we do the last time we ate at Alexander's?" and I said "We went to Chapel of the Cross. Oooo let's go again!" So we did. We went to the same bench where we had talked for the first time on our first date. After saying many sweet things, he knelt down and gave me the most beautiful ring. It was just what I wanted! We got married June 16, 2007, 11 months to the day that we met.
My first time to go to Kurt's hometown and meet his family, October 2006:
The night we got engaged!
What is a family tradition you would like start with your family?
Along with Jesus Christ being the total focus of our family and finding unique ways to train up our children the the faith, we want to make Disney World trips a family tradition :) Also, I have a love of weaving Jewish tradition into our Christian heritage, which includes celebrating Passover. My grandfather gave me all of his notes on Judaism and how we can celebrate elements of it as Christians. Fascinating! You can read my posts about it HERE and HERE.
Did you finish college?
No, I did not. I went my freshman year to Baylor University and declared Speech Pathology as my major. The second semester, I returned to my first love (from the age of 12): interior design. However, it was just too far from home, and I just didn't click with the school. I transferred to Mississippi College, about 20-30 minutes from home, and continued in interior design. I got married in 2007, and combined with Kurt's job, we weren't seeing each other. Also, the department was going through lots of changes, and it was chaos. I had promised my dad that if I got married during college, I would finish my degree. He saw how much I was struggling, and literally drowning in all that was on my plate. He gave me his blessing to stop. A million pounds were lifted from me, because I knew this is what I was supposed to do. I lack about 3 semesters.
Do you plan to finish your interior design degree at some point? Was it hard being "so close" to finishing and not completing? I know you felt called to be at home (which I think is awesome!) but was it difficult to make that decision?
I do not plan to finish. Trust me, I've gotten criticized for this (even by close friends), but this is between me, my husband, and the Lord. If I get the desire to design in the future, I can freelance. I've actually already been offered a job in CG to work for a small interior design company (which I won't be taking unless I come up with a LOT of free time or need to start a Disney fund--ha!). It was not hard to make this decision, because I had a 1000% peace about it. I am happier than I've ever been, and design is the sort of thing that you can do on your own terms.
What did you for a profession before you decided to stay home?
After I stopped school, I worked as a receptionist for a psychology group part time. After working there for several months, I found out that I was pregnant in June 2008. Knowing that I would be a stay at home mom, my office manager went ahead and filled my position in August, and I've been home ever since.
Is it hard being the wife of a doctor - on calls, long shifts, etc.?
Kurt did a really great job of preparing me before we got married for what residency would be like. Long hours, no time off, nights away. I know (for a fact, actually) that a lot of people probably read this blog and think that I have a very "comfortable" lifestyle and it must be a dream being married to a doctor. I'll say this: it's a dream being married to Kurt, not what he does for a living. He makes very, very little while in residency. Yes, that will change when we move. But physicians put in their time of a hard, hard lifestyle before they get that payoff. I've gotten so used to being alone a lot of nights that it doesn't phase me. I never got the chance to live the "single life" in a cute little apartment, so I kind of get the chance to have "me time" once Evy is down for the night. But yes, a lot of the time it's hard. Very hard. We're counting down until residency is over! But we are so, so blessed.
Is your hair naturally that auburn color?
Yes. It started turning red/auburn when I was around 14. I tried doing a "boosting" color once, but it was funky and didn't make much difference. So yes, auburn is my natural color. :)
What were your plans had you not married and had a baby? Did you see staying in the south or did you have ideas of trying to go to a big city and do musical theatre?
I love this question! Since I'm not originally from the south, I didn't intend to stay here. In the long run, I pictured myself ending up in Dallas (which isn't the south to me!), honestly. My big Plan B was to move to Orlando and pursue Disney entertainment. I actually came very close to auditioning in the summer of 2005. I would have probably gone to a local Orlando college, majored in musical theater performance and gone from there. After I was at Mississippi College, I was going to pursue a design internship in New York or London, because I fell in love with London when I lived there. My dream job is to do Broadway performance. However, I met Kurt and the rest is history!
More answers are coming....keep asking! :)